tv [untitled] October 13, 2010 12:30am-1:00am PST
transportation element. and excuse me, and sort of making sure that they're reflective of the best practices in pedestrian and streetscape design that we have identified and updating primarily the transportation element to reflect these practices that are in the better streets plan. before you today we're with the initiation of the general plan amendment and setting a date for when we would have the adoption hearing which would be three weeks hence, october 28, and what we would be bringing to you on that day would be adoption of ceqa findings. we have conduct admit gaited negative declaration, approval of general plan amendments and consistency findings and approving of the better streets plan itself and administrative code and planning code amendments. and so staff recommendation would be to approve the resolution of intent to initiate the general plan amendment and to set the october 28 hearing
date to hear these adoption actions. thank you. . migu president miguel: thank you. is there any public comment on this item? . >> sue hester with an inquiry. last night i was driving with a friend through the mission district and commenting on the tree anarchy in the mission because in the 70's when we started planting trees it was really whatever you want to do. and as a result we have a lot of streets that have totally inappropriate trees and the mission district is particularly plagued with them because the trees are extraordinarily dense and they cut off all light on the sidewalk. it's not a mission district problem alone. it is a problem in various parts of the city. i don't know if it's in this plan because i haven't read it, but i would hope that the staff
and the city would think carefully about existing retrofit. when you don't have any light on the sidewalk, it's a safety hazard in the mission district. and we have a lot of problems, because it's dark. and we didn't have a whole lot of thought when the tree program started. now we have extremely mature trees that are extremely inappropriate and were never thinned when they started and how we get to the point of doing retrofit of lighting fixtures so you don't just have the bulb up
here, but the ability to get to the treat to move down the tree and there were problems around there as well. and all the stuff you get to draw and look at what we've got now and how can we get it better. the problem valely, really inappropriate, dense trees that take out the thoughts there. m president miguel: i was wondering if you could comment on this. >> it is a consideration we had and one of the reasons to have
this plan and to consider those there and you have different agencies working on different aspects and generally installed by the property owners. one of the overall guidelines is for having the different elements interact on the street environment and that is a consideration about spacing with the trees and lighting appropriately so you are not sort of planting trees in an overly dense fashion that it blocks the light iing. and sort of vice versa, so that is considered in the plan. president miguel: thank you. board vice president olague: and i was going to ask if the different of
disability has weighed in on this document. >> we have been working closely with the mayor's office of disability and gone to the mayor's disability council on a number of occasions to give informational presentations and an appendix in the back is the accessibility guidelines. >> i was going to move to initiate. >> i'll second. president miguel: commissioner borden? commissioner borden: to we have a policy to specify where trees should be planted or do we not have a policy on that? >> the d.p.w. has tree planting guidelines which isn't about specific guidelines and the various han handles and if you are required to plant a tree as is often the case, you will require a street permit and they
do have lists of trees that they would approve. >> it would be zes interesting to look at that with sidewalks throughout the city and are are breaking up. >> and my sense is they have to learn over time about which trees work better and were planting 20 years ago and to be not ideal and are learning from that. >> can you tell me about the survey that was in the survey and about the better streets plan and a limited number of options and they wanted to know about that survey. >> that is on a related project and we sent it out to the same mailing list that the better
street plan goes, but the project is to develop a sort of centralized city web portal for people who want to make street improvements and the point of the survey is to try and understand what types of improvements that people are trying to make. the concern that the member of the public had is we had a number of different selections and that was in terms of how we organized the survey. it is hard to sort of follow up on each of those and that long list and not to say that people can't make more than five street improvements, but just that for the purposes of the survey, we were only going to limit it to five. >> in the future when we do multiple choice, that we have a box that says "other" and people can write in a choice. just a way and i know survey monkey and all those have the option to do multiple choice and the open box. >> right. vice president olague: to people feel like they have a place to put it and i don't know the survey and maybe we could get a link to the survey.
it would be just interesting to know. >> we are trying to get people to fill it out. thanks. >> thanks. president miguel: commissioner moore? commissioner moore: i think it is a landmark plan. i have read it probably three times from beginning to end and discover something new each time from a physical point of view which is quite remarkable and i think in a city as beautiful as this one is and there is always a real absence about understanding the coordinated street design. and i think this for the first time addressing in it a comprehensive and artistic way. i personally would appreciate and i am not sure if i'm stepping on your toes right now, that you would mention that they have been advising on this project, is that correct? >> they are part of the team. commissioner moore: i do see his handwriting in developing the citywide artistic and comprehensive ideas and i would
appreciate if we acknowledge that. he is basically the person who has been holding city planning up at its highest and he's again and his handwriter is clearly readable. thank you, alan. president miguel: commission ee sugaya? commissioner sugaya: yes, this will make me extremely unpopular, i'm sure, but i'm not exactly a tree person to the extent that i hope the better streets plan try to make improvements that go beyond trees and showing us pretty pictures of streets with lots of trees. it appeals to a lot of people, but i think it should go beyond street tree program because i cut my teeth on the street tree programs on board of appeals and it is no fun listening to people argue about street trees in front of their house whether it's going in or coming out or forcing them to replace one. it is just not something the
planning commission wants to get involved there n, at least at that level. going beyond the plan a little bit into more the d.p.w. and implementation part, but along those lines, maintenance, ongoing maintenance and replacement, there are existing regulations along the lines that generally end up being the responsibility of the property owner. are those kinds of things, can we address some of the maintenance issues? here. i don't know if they aren't specifically or whether it's the proper place to do it. but maybe some thinking along those lines or a policy or two or a statement would be good. >> excuse me, i should mention we did have a companion piece that was developed by the controller's office which is a set of recommendations and how to improve the process and arrangement for how we deliver and maintain street improvement and they will be coming out
shortly with their report about recommendations for how we approve our maintenance practices. it is difficultly blanked in if we want to make the improvements, we have to maintain them as well. >> i think it's always in my experience a big surprise to certain property owners that the trees sitting out in front of the sidewalk is really their responsibility in many inthe answers, maybe not all. >> thank you. just a couple of thoughts but i most wanted to thank adam and our colleagues at p.c. and m.t.a. and the other departments. this is an unprecedented multidepartment effort, seven, eight agencies involved and this, i think, with the beauty of the plan is it does cover 25% of the city which is pretty amazing when you think of it. but i also think that it is, in fact, a lot more than just grand ideas and pretty picture.
it is very detailed in what it talks about and how it talks about treatments and different conditions and storm water issues and plantings issues and if there are many places where trees are not appropriate. and especially if there. and the plan is comprehensive and i actually think it's the best of its kind that i have seen in the country and i really do commend staff and departments for pulling together. it is a great feather in the cap for the planning department. president miguel: commissioner antonini? commissioner antonini: thank you. a couple of things, i guess. first of all, in terms of trees, i think we probably have fewer trees than most sfi cities but probably for a good reason. we have a lot of hills that will sometimes create shade and fog certain times of the year, so we don't need as much protection from the sun as some places do but ornamentally they add a lot
to the street and i am very much in favor of doing that. the other condition i didn't see addressed in here, although it may be in here somewhere, is they reference the corners and we have to look at those carefully because a lot of times there may not be appropriate places where there are a lot of right turns being made and especially if there is a bike lane there, too, you can get your cars into the right turn lane and the bikes will be streetward of the cars making the right turn. and if you have the bulb out there, the bikes and cars are competing for the same space. so i'm not speaking against it, but saying we have to look at these judiciously and hopefully the buses aren't stopping anywhere near there because we have an extraordinary problem with buses in the street because we have really narrow streets and a lot of streets that have
-- a lot of cities have transportation below ground or in their own right-of-way so part of the congestion comes from the buses which is not what you are dealing with but we always have to take those into consideration. thanks. >> i would say in response to that that the plan does include detailed guidelines including what you mentioned about where there are heavy right-turn movements to err on the side of not doing that. so that is addressed. commissioner antonini: thank you. president miguel: commissioner moore? commissioner moore: i appreciate you summarizing the overall importance of the plan. i personally don't see it as much about trees but just establishing consistent infrastructure of public realm. that also addresses many individual homeowners and many individual large-scale developer who is want to do their own but bring them into a comfortable, highly-designed framework which is notable already in the neighborhoods and it's noticeable in other competing
cities where large downtowns, for example, have been completely transformed based on commonalty about the public realm. we don't really have that. president miguel: thank you. secretary avery: there is a motion on the floor to initiate. on that motion, commissioner antonini. >> commissioner borden. >> aye. >> commission irmoore. >> aye. >> commissioner miguel. >> aye. secretary avery: thank you, commissioners. you are now on item 9. case 2010.0054u, the personal wireless service facility site permit. >> good afternoon, commissioners. welcome back, commissioner borden. and the legislation before you
moves the public works code with modifications to improve the process. since the initial adoption in 2007, the department of public works has been accepting personal wireless services applications to be placed in the public right-of-way and under certain circumstances referred them to the planning department for an administrative review and recommendation or two the recreation and parks department depending on the protected area it resides in. the planning department would get referrals when the installation would be on a street important to urban design and views identified in the general plan. or a street determined with
quality views to be good or excellent. it should be noted that the current process doesn't require any kind of notification. these are examples of some of the installations that have been most recently approved. this is an example of an antenna and another example. this is an example of the single antenna and this is the antenna and these are the equipment boxes that get installed about 15 feet above grade. the extension pole which is required for any kind of electrical conduits or things, pg&e equipment, extends the pole
and then the antenna itself. and another example of a dual panel antenna installation. after many public workshops, the supervisors and the various departments have crafted language to provide for public notification and a streamline review process for distributed antenna system providers and individual wireless telecommunication providers equally. the legislation focuses on the aesthetic impact to the public right of view within reason to enable providers to implement their infrastructure. the major changes to the
modified or existing legislation is that it adds residential and neighborhood commercial zoning districts to the protected areas that would be referred to the planning department. it authorizes the recreation and parks department to require an applicant for wireless permit to plant a street tree next to the existing utility pole and this would be to buffer the equipment incentral population. -- to buffer the equipment installation. and it requires public notice for all final determinations once the permit has been issued and under the tier three system before the determination has been issued. again, public notification and the tier system it jumps into. tier one is something that would
be approved administratively by the department of public works without any recommendation or referral to other agencies. we have determined that certain sizes of the antenna and the equipment when designed appropriately, there would be no circumstance for us to recommend denial of these types of installations. tier two's would be forwarded to the planning department as well as tier three's. we have a representative from the supervisor's office and public works department and possibly the carriers and possibly the constituency. with that, we recommend you adopt recommendation for approval. president miguel: you mentioned public note. could you elaborate on that an it will? >> currently there is no public notification and someone leaves work in the morning and comes
back after work and there is an antenna and equipment boxes in front of their home. now the process will include once the determination is made for tier one and tier two projects for a notification to be sent out i believe 350 feet to neighborhood associations within that area. and that would provide people with the opportunity to appeal to the board of appeals. under the tier three situation, there would be notification prior to any final determination to allow people to comment before the review. president miguel: do you know the timing of the notices offhand? >> i believe they are standard with similar to building permit applications. 15 days -- up to 15 day after the issuance and prior, i'm not certain. president miguel: thank you.
>> good afternoon, commissioners. francis shiah. and thanks for a great presentation that explains to you what the legislation intends to do. i am here to give you a little bit of background today on the legislation and some perspective of why supervisor introduced the legislation and the process we have gone through and to answer any questions that you might have, but as jonas explained, wireless ordinance seeks to establish aesthetic guidelines for the wireless equipment in the public rights of way. i know that all of you are very familiar with wireless equipment and installations and you have had that before you already today. and so while there is sort of a public process for equipment that goes up on private property, there isn't that same process when things go up on the
utility poles. basically our office got involved in this and heard about it on the campaign trial before he was in office and subsequently when he got into office and would field numerous complaints from district 11 residents who would get up in the morning, go to work and you come home and you see this big set of metal boxes on the pole right outside your living room window or see this array of metal boxes or equipment at the top of the pole and you have no idea what it is, when it was installed, maybe there was a notice, you really don't know what's going on. and so they complained about the lack of public notice, but as well as sort of this visual pollution that it causes because they're very industrial-like installations that are happening in our residential neighborhood-commercial districts. i think the bulk of the complaints come from the residential and the neighborhood
commercial areas. so we reached out to d.p.w. and the planning department to see if there were any legislative policy changes we could make, and when we did that, we discovered that a lot of our colleagues had been fielding similar complaints from their constituents so we got involved in a series of stakeholder workshops and meetings to try to see if we could find a legislative solution and eventually we wound up being the lead sponsors for the legislation that you had before you today. there has been interest by many of our colleagues that you will see supervisor east are co-sponsorses and they have been tracking the progress and gotten a lot of interest out of their constituents as well. so it addresses not just our constituents' concerns but obviously across the city. and so what you have before you
today is a result of numerous stakeholder meetings and conversations between our office and other supervisors' offices, d.p.w., the planning department, advocacy organizations and neighborhood associations as well as industry representatives and we try to make sure everybody who would be affected was part of the process. and it's resulted in numerous versions and amendments to the legislation as we're attempting to as much as possible address all the interest and concerns of the parties, but as you well know the city is somewhat constrained by both state and federal laws. and so given what we have to work with, we believe that we've come up with a policy that addresses the big concerns which had to do with the noticing and as well with visual impact in a residential neighborhood.
we feel that it also legally defensible and we have worked extensively with the city attorney's office considering the numerous legal issueses here and also workable for the department. we wanted to make sure we weren't putting in policy that would lead to hours and hours of just a roadblock or bureaucratic red tape as people say. something that was doable by the department as well. and today i think you'll have folks here talking and will bring up a lot of concerns and i am sure the industry stakeholders will have concerns about overstepping our bounds as a local legislative body and certainly there are areas where we're sort of pushing the boundaries of what has been legislated previously and we think that's good public policy. we think it's sound and it serves sort of pushing the envelope and serves the interests of our constituents. we are constantly doing that in san francisco. it is why we have so much land park public policy here. on the other hand, i think you
may hear from community stakeholders who will counter that our legislation doesn't go far enough. there should be more public noticing and in response to that, we're constrained by what we can legislate and with the facilities that have a right to go up and do so as respectfully as possible for the residential neighborhoods and for the view. san francisco certainly prides ourself on that. so i think what this legislation proposes will make the current situation much better and the process much better than what it is. there will be more public notification. we are trying to encourage smaller and more aesthetically pleasing installation and working within the constraints that we have. this is a long process and we introduced this legislation in
december of last year and through that process we have been meeting with everybody making those amendments and trying to make sure that we have legislation that balances pretty vastly competing interests and to the best of our ability. and we're al going to continue that conversation and in addition to being heard at this commission, it will go through land use committee and we anticipate there will be more than small tweaks to the legislation and i don't anticipate substantive changes but we are opened to continue to tweak it and improve it as long as we can sort of hold to the vision of the legislation and what we're trying to do in terms of improving the situation in our neighborhoods. and so we ask the commission for your support. i'm here to answer any questions you may have. d.p.w. is here as well. they have been a very integral part of this process. president miguel: thank you. commissioner borden, is there a question at this point? thank you.
any comments from d.p.w. in particular? all right. i have opened up for public comment and you have i have one public comment card, steven crolick. >> good afternoon, commissioners. my name is steven crolick and i live at 400 locust street, district two, in presidio heights and i am a concerned citizen about the public wale fair for all of us in san francisco and i come her